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BJP knocks out Congress in Leh Hill Council polls

Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi, wearing a turban, attends an election campaign rally ahead of the state assembly elections at Fagvel village in the western Indian state of Gujarat in this October 11, 2012 file photo. For many Indians, Narendra Modi is the man of the moment, a possible prime minister. Others see the chief minister of western Gujarat state as a Hindu zealot who did not stop the massacre of Muslims in religious riots a decade ago. Picture taken October 11, 2012. To match INDIA-MODI/ REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files (INDIA - Tags: HEADSHOT POLITICS)

Dislodging Congress, BJP on Friday swept the elections for the 26-member Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, bagging 17 of the 24 seats for which results were declared.

Congress, which had 22 seats in the outgoing Council, managed only four seats this time while National Conference got two. One seat was bagged by an Independent.

The poll victory was hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who expressed his gratitude to the people of the region for reposing their faith in BJP. “Delighted at the results of Ladakh Hill Council Polls. My gratitude to people for placing their faith in BJP. Congrats to BJP Karyakartas,” he tweeted.

The party had won the Lok Sabha polls last year from Ladakh Constituency, the lone seat in the region, by dislodging Congress. BJP candidates won from Tegar, Panamik, Tangtse, Chushul, Kungyam, Sakti, Igoo, Martselang, Thiksay, Chuchot, Upper Leh, Phyang, Sku-Markha, Saspol, Temisgam, Khaltse and Skurbuchan council seats in the elections held on October 19. Congress has so far managed only four seats winning Lamayouru, Basgo, Lingshet and Korzok seats. National Conference has won two seats — Lower Leh and Turtuk, while Diskit seat went to an Independent. The results for two council seats -Hunder and Nyoma – are awaited.

90 candidates were in the fray for the elections and over 65 per cent electorate had exercised their franchise.